California just became the first state in the US to ban the sale of beauty products that have been tested on animals, thanks to the passage of the California Cruelty-Free Cosmetics Act.
The bill was introduced back in February, and finally made its way to the state senate last Friday, where senators voted unanimously in favour of the legislation. It will now make its way to the governor, who will decide whether or not to sign it into law.
According to Glamour, California Governor Jerry Brown has a history of supporting animal welfare issues, so it looks likely that the bill will become law soon.
If it does, it will take effect after 2020, and make it illegal to “sell any cosmetic in California if the final product or any component of the product was knowingly tested on animals” after January 1, 2020.
Considering California’s economy is the fifth largest in the world (aka larger than the UK’s), this is pretty huge.
Closer to home, the federal government announced several key procedures as part of the 2017-8 budget that will mean a ban on animal testing. Those include introducing legislation (specifically, the Australian Industrial Chemical Introduction Scheme), working with state and territory governments to incorporate their own testing bans, and working with the cosmetics industry to develop a voluntary code of practice on the sale of cosmetic products.
While no animal testing for cosmetics actually takes place in Australia, that doesn’t mean products that are tested on animals elsewhere aren’t still sold here. (For example, any cosmetics sold in mainland China must be tested on animals to be approved – so any brand in the Chinese market is not cruelty-free. Here’s an explainer to help.)
The government’s decision to use a voluntary code of practice rather than a legislative ban means companies can continue to sell products tested on animals here without breaching any laws.
FYI: Lush is hands down my favourite cruelty-free brand when it comes to skin care and bath products, while Hourglass is probably my favourite cruelty-free makeup brand.
Congrats to California for making Elle Woods’ dream a reality. Snaps for California!